GOP commits to reaching out to millennial voting bloc
The GOP wants to get its groove back with young people.
It took a step toward that on Thursday by naming Elliott Echols as the party's first national youth director, seven months after releasing a report that showed people perceive the Grand Old Party as, well, old and disconnected from pop culture.
“Today's announcement is groundbreaking,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. “Bringing Elliot on board in an off-year will help us build relationships with young voters and mobilize students and young professionals to take our message to their peers.”
Yet Echols' work will resonate beyond the 2014 elections, Priebus said, noting that “young Americans are independent-minded people who are concerned about getting our nation's economy back on track.”
Echols, 23, of Rome, Ga., told the Tribune-Review he has goals for his new role.
“The biggest is to bring young, energized people to the GOP,” he said. “There are a lot of young people who are eager to make a change, but they can't change anything if they're not a part of the process.”
Echols began to identify himself as a conservative in college: “I majored in economics, and it shaped the way I thought about policies, people's choices and the size of government.”
More than 50 million voting-age “millennials,” those ages 18 to 29, live in the United States — about 17 percent of the electorate, according to Pew Research Center in Washington.
The Republican Party determined a need to reach them after releasing its “Growth and Opportunity Project” in late March that scrutinized data from the 2012 presidential election. The report proposed ways that conservatives could attract not just young voters but women and minorities — three important demographics in American politics.
Exit polling last year showed President Obama with a 28-point advantage over Republican nominee Mitt Romney, a gap that widened dramatically since the under-30 vote began breaking for Democrats in 1992 with Bill Clinton.
Echols wants to do more than recruit voters or volunteers. “I want to see young people running for office as well,” he said.
To be effective, he'll need to get out of Washington and make sure state GOP committees and elected officials try to engage young people, he said.
In recent weeks, the RNC hired Orlando Watson and Tara Wall to head communications for black media and rolled out an aggressive Hispanic outreach program in Pennsylvania, California, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas and Virginia. The goal is to build a grassroots infrastructure to engage people at community events.
Michael Czin, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, is skeptical that hiring a few people with new titles will help Republicans win votes.
“Their real problem is, their policies and message do not attract young people or minorities,” he said. “The Democrats' policies on issues like choice and college affordability, to name a few, are why we have been good at getting young people to support our candidates, not who we have on staff.”
Still, said Alex Castellanos, a Republican political analyst in Washington, “This is a move in the right direction, especially committing permanent positions in an off-year election. It shows they are not just doing it to close the margins but to actually build a long-lasting relationship.”
Window dressing, and badly done at that.
They couldn't find anybody except some bland white guy?
i'm totes voting GOP now! he's cute!
They could do it if they'd propose federal student loan forgiveness. Hell I'd vote for them if they did that.
R5, the GOP is the most regressive mainstream political party in the Western world.
So much for that vast army of white fundie homeschooled kids that was supposed to carry on the neocon thousand year reich.
Well, yes, r6. I wasn't planning to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
[quote]They couldn't find anybody except some bland white guy?
In some of his pics, I am not so sure one of his ancestors didn't have a "secret."
You know that nasty, mean spirited qween, Reince Priebus, will be fingering the poor kid behind the cloakroom...
It's a brilliant move. The GOP can really prove its commitment to outreach by enlisting the aid of a southern white male.
Right, nothing like a cute, white frat boy to bring back the Youth Vote!
Of course the Pubbies are going to bring in a blond haired, blue-eyed white frat boy to run their youth operation! They have to get someone tee'd up to run the party in a few years. Just because he looks like the kind of guy who you see in a frat house rape mugshot lineup doesn't mean he can't be influential in Pubbie politics. Hell, if that was a disqualification for being a Pubbie, there'd only be a handful left in the whole country.
Leave it to the GOP to put some poindexter-looking pencil-necked geek in a dated suit-and-tie outfit as their spokesman to 'reach out' to the kids. God, they're clueless.
How long until they find out their spokesmodel has done work for Sean Cody?
Sorry GOP, but getting young people to join your team is going to be next to impossible as long as you are compelled to control their sex life.
This is what I'd do if I were a GOP power broker.
I would arrange for all these myriad dark money groups to sponsor hundreds of thousands of young, unemployed whites from England to emigrate to the U.S. Basically they're the same ethnicity as rednecks and have pretty much the same attitudes (hyperpatriotic, hyper-racist), plus they're accustomed to much lower living standards than the average American (no central heating, tiny refrigerators, using mass transit) and to living in a rigidly class-structured society with a powerful aristocracy that demands uncritical deference at all times. You could put them to work at Wal-Mart or McDonalds and they'd fit right in, and since they have even worse eating habits and a higher rate of alcoholism than even we do, they'll mostly die before they can collect Social Security or Medicare. Stick 'em in FEMA trailers near fracking sites and get an even higher turnover. Anyway, give them a bottle of hard cider and they'll vote any way you want.
That guy has Chiclet teeth.
When they turn yellow they will look like candy corn!
[quote]Echols began to identify himself as a conservative in college: “I majored in economics, and it shaped the way I thought about policies, people's choices and the size of government.”
What a moron.
They need a GOP boy band...Right Direction!
Wrong Direction would be more apt.
Follow Our Directions is even better.
Disenfranchising college students by challenging whether they are living at school, when they are of course, is their first step at winning over young voters!
wow. What losers.
Ah. They'll never get a majority of women and minorities to vote for them so they're going all out for young, dumb, white boys. It's their only hope of dragging out their old, dumb, white men death spiral.
And does Echols realize that it is the Democratic Party which has usually had to pull America out of a financial hole after the damage inflicted by Republican Presidents?
Bland white boi. Who's done him?
r29 probably some former weather man / go go dancer in florida.
If they can reform their stance on gay issues and immigration, or at least sell that they have, they've got a shot. Millenials are the new "me generation" and when the right political figure comes along it will be 1980 all over again.
Maybe it will work on Miley Cyrus.
[quote]In recent weeks, the RNC hired Orlando Watson and Tara Wall to head communications for black media and rolled out an aggressive Hispanic outreach program in Pennsylvania, California, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas and Virginia. The goal is to build a grassroots infrastructure to engage people at community events.
I thought the goal was to build a fence.
Love you, R33.
Only in your wildest dreams, R31.
[quote]If they can reform their stance on gay issues and immigration, or at least sell that they have, they've got a shot.
It would be easier to keep water from being wet.
The cornerstone of the GOP is fear and hate. Fear of them, hate of that, fear of this, hate of everything and everyone not like them.
They can't win with their lousy policies.
Yes, God, please. We NEED a Republican boyband. Clean cut white boys in pastel sweater vests singing about saying no to drugs and staying virgins while they smoke meth and bugger each other in the hotels at night.
I need this like I need oxygen.
"Vote Republican. Because you're never too young to hate."
He's from Rome Georgia. That says it all. In ten years Southern frat boys and angry old white guys will be their only demographic. Even the Chamber of Commerce has grown tired of their Tea Party bullshit.
Republicans are soooo square and lame. This reminds me of when Michele Bachmann was trying to be all "hip" and "with-it" and speaking jive to Michael Steele: "He be da man!"
[quote]Bland white boi. Who's done him?
I assume he's a Christian evangelical who is saving himself for marriage.
The GOP will be sending floppy discs out to youngsters to show that they are hip with the new technology.
IIRC, the last time they tried something like this was when they made Michael Steele chairman.
How did that work out for them?
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I guess you can't use that acronym on Datalounge.
Perhaps they'd have better luck looking cool and open-minded if they had John Boehner's rasta son-in-law out there to promote their brand: